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Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in muscle tissue. Creatine before and after workout helps recycle ATP from high-intensity exercise, the energy that supports muscle contraction. When muscle cells are short on ATP, they can draw upon creatine to continue contracting.

Creatine is taken up by the muscles and stored in the form of creatine phosphate. As short bursts of energy are needed in exercise, the muscles draw upon the phosphate, converting to ATP.

Creatine increases the amount of energy available to muscles. It has been shown to help promote strength, speed, power, and lean muscle mass.

The two types of supplementation differ in how fast they are absorbed into the muscles.

Supplementation

In recent years, creatine supplements have become popular with athletes, bodybuilders, and people who want to get stronger. There are two forms: creatine monohydrate and creatine ethyl ester.

Creatine monohydrate is the most studied and most effective form. It is readily available and affordable. It is the only form that has been shown to have ergogenic benefits.

Creatine ethyl ester is marketed as being absorbed faster than creatine monohydrate, which means that more is available to muscles.

The following research offers insight into supplementation.

Effects of creatine before or after on athletic performance in soccer

Creatine supplementation appears to improve anaerobic performance in soccer players.

These findings suggest that 20-30 total grams of creatine per day, divided into 3-4 times per day, ingested over 6 to 7 days, and followed by five g/day for nine weeks or with a low dose of 3 mg/kg/day for 14 days improve anaerobic performance in soccer players. Especially the Wingate test, which is an important anaerobic performance test in soccer.

Creatine before bed

For creatine supplementation, β-alanine, and protein supplements, it is recommended to be taken at five specific times (pre-workout, during exercise, post-workout, mealtime, and before sleep) with different dosing protocol.

Creatine, β-alanine, and protein supplements, it is recommended to be taken in both shortened amounts < 2 weeks and acute daily time (1-3 hours).

Creatine loading

Creatine is a safe and effective supplement for athletes. However, it is not a panacea and can’t turn normal people into Olympic athletes overnight.

It’s probably best to get your grams of creatine from food (meat, fish, eggs, etc.) if you can. If you do decide to supplement, make sure you buy the right stuff. You want a micronized creatine monohydrate powder.

And remember, it is not a substitute for hard work.

Supplement timing on athletic performance

The majority of research on nutrient timing has focused on carbohydrate and protein intake. Emerging research suggests that the strategic ingestion of various dietary supplements and micronutrients may also have beneficial effects.

There is some evidence that caffeine, creatine, nitrates, sodium bicarbonate, beta-alanine, and iron may be beneficial when consumed at specific times before exercise.

Rest days

These meta-analysis results indicate that massage is the most effective recovery method for reducing DOMS and perceived fatigue. The use of compression garments, massage, or water immersion may be useful for lowering perceived fatigue.

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